Ut hoc extremum tempus: Farewell, Leila Marie Carter.

His fingers held firm to the cloth that draped over his hands, the coins in either grip bruising the tender flesh of his thumbs as he stalked forward and quietly stepped into the euphoric light that announced the beginning of this procession. For years, this had been his duty. For centuries, his life had been all about these few kindling moments in between where he, along with the other gypsies, asked the woman’s spirit to finally pass on, never to return to this life again.

Fire had always been the way of the gypsies. Her people had wanted that for her, even without knowing exactly what she was, how truly and ungratefully cursed she had been simply for Gus’ sake. Tyson stood in the ever dark clearing of one of the largest tombs that he had ever seen. Her people were a people of tradition and religious rites.

There was no second decision that needed to be made and he had wasted no time in doing what was his duty not only as her second lover not only in this life but also every life she had spent in this miserable world.

Behind him, sobs echoed into the impervious night time sky. Before him, a pyre of grand display, not quite fired yet, carried the white clothed vampire that he had only the faintest chance to explore in this lifetime, even though he had made an attempt.

She was strong in both life and death and in the in between. She had stood up for herself when it came to Gus and in the end, he could only suppose that that loss echoed through every life she had spent in this world passed her original for she had not lived much longer.

A year, maybe two, he guessed from the letters he’d received from Augustus, had been everything this woman had known when it came to the life she was meant to have as queen not only in blood but also by power.

Royalty, even among the gypsies, she had her rights from the moment she was born. She only came to have it during her later years in this life she had been thrust into.

A witch in his own right, bound by the blood of his people, the moment his voice drove into the wind, he felt the stirring of his magic, the pretense to the ritual that had been handed down through the ages to the man in white cloth. The crowd, upon hearing his voice, bled into wails that lifted the curtain upon this rather haunted procession.

“The music we play is sorrowful and the tears that stain and etch across our cheeks are not lost upon the spirits of our ancestors or even the lifeless body of our Admeta,” he started, moving quietly in the direction of the pyre. Carefully, hands unbound the white cloth that covered her eyes. Coins that bruised and stained the inside of his knuckles red found themselves to fingers that gently pressed them against her eyelids.

His attention, however brief upon the crowd, had now settled on the face of his beloved and cheeks drizzled red with tears of blood that leaked from the corners of his eyes, staining the paleness of his flesh with each distraught moment lost upon her.

“We do not forget that our beloved Admeta has departed this world for one of eternal bliss. She has left us, but not far too soon,” he continued, crossing his arms over his chest. “But I take great comfort in knowing, this time, that her soul resides in eternity, watched over by all the Gods in the Elysian Fields.”

Moving quietly, he let himself face the torches that lit either side of the star and fire lit pyre. Taking hold of the one closest to him, the blonde haired woman, the blind woman no less, that forever followed him around since the moment he’d saved her took hold of the one closest to the feet of the corpse that now lay against the bareness of the pyre itself.

“Now as we prepare to light the pyre that will usher her into the afterlife, I ask only one thing of you all. That you remember her as I do and did for she loved her people, none more than her family..” As he spoke, the flames leapt from his beacon like torch, spreading over the pine straw that the pyre was inlaid with. His assistant’s did the same.

Whether from his magic or hers, it was hard to tell exactly what happened. Within moments, the pyre roared to life and the crying throughout the crowd of her people, her family, grew scarce. The coins were the first thing to melt, her body unseen by the others following suit as the flames charred what was left, bringing all to ash.

*********


They had been here for hours.

It took that long, really, for everything to consolidate within the flames, to turn from cinders to dust and then to ash that could be collected. While the flames still roared, their sound deadening on ears that picked up every sound within the air, the magnitude of heart beats, the wails of her of family in the background, dressed in their family’s colors, his magic spread through his body, strengthening both limb and flesh.

As he had done many times before, Tyson stalked into the flame, letting its warmth lick at both his flesh. While clothes burned and melted away into nothing, his body did not burn nor did it darken from the smoke that rose where his feet found their place in moving him across the pyre where her ashes lay.

True to his nature, fingers curled around the largest heap of smoldering bones that had yet to turn into ash, to melt down or char, and he took hold of the urn that was sent his way by his assistant that was quick to free herself from the flames, her magic working to preserve the clothes upon her back.

He did not want this part to be drawn out any further than it needed to be.

Throughout the crowd, her people had already taken hold of her belongings, things stolen, in secret, throughout the years of her life, both in lives before this one and in this life where he had only had the briefest moment of time to gather belongings that would have meant something to her kindred.

Freed from the flames, he found his robe wrapped around his arms by the blonde assistant. Eyes, still streaked with red, took momentary notice of her before he quietly stepped into the darkness and faded from view, the last sight of the clearing, her people stepping up to throw her old belongings into the flames that roared to life once more.

She would have wanted things like this, to be with her mother, to be with her previous lives.

Tyson was among the only few who knew where they were, as thanks from Diana and, of course, Augustus.

The tombstones of the ancients lay within a valley that was long forgotten by man. Greenery overran what was once carved out by the Romans, used as a burial site for the richest and most powerful of its generals and emperors. This place was of divine reverence, blessed ground that kept the most evil of spirits away. He was careful in stepping through it for only he knew the way through the valley’s most treacherous steps.

Within just a few moments, not very long at all, the urn in hand, he stood at the edge of three different graves. Each of them were her past lives. Each of them had met their ungodly end. The newest stone, the fourth, had nothing but a few words upon it, words in languages now very dead.

He stepped to the one closest to him, touching his fingers to his lips before his arms stretched out to offer it first to this stone and then to each one after.

"I hope you get some rest now," he managed with a small half-grin, finally settling at the newest of the stones and the hole that stood before him. Freeing the urns top, he quietly tipped it over, letting both ash and old bones trickle and sway through the breeze into the resting place set forth. "Ut hoc extremum tempus."

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Comment by Lazarus Gideon Kishimoto on October 6, 2017 at 9:43pm

Farewell Grandmother.


Undead
Comment by Leila Marie Carter on October 4, 2017 at 3:05am

<3 Always and forever. ~

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